The FMCSA Clearinghouse Has Gone Live: What to do Next

The new FMCSA clearinghouse rule officially went into effect on January 6th, 2020. 

And while Clearinghouse Navigator is full of information and eTraining lessons on how to follow the rule, many CMV employers are still unsure about what to do next. This blog will cover what actions employers of CMV drivers need to take now that the clearinghouse has gone live. 

Understand the Rule 

You can find many different breakdowns of the rule and reasoning behind it. In fact, our previous blog post focused on this exact subject. To summarize, the new rule has been put in place to prevent a loophole that has been allowing CMV drivers to find work shortly after a drug or alcohol violation. 

CMV employers will be required to report similar infractions on the new FMCSA clearinghouse, which will now act as the main point of reference against which employers will be able to check records of new or potential hires. Certain violations will also be required to be reported by CMV employers, such as DOT alcohol results of .004 BAC and above, and drug violations. 

What Employers Need to Do 

The new rule began January 6th, 2020, and many employers are still unsure of their obligations. The first and most important step of the process at the moment, is registering. All CMV stakeholders, such as employers, need to register for the clearinghouse in order to utilize it properly and follow the rule.

Once registered, it will be a requirement for CMV employers to report violations of their drivers, as defined here. Employers will also need to check new hires against the clearinghouse to ensure they have no violations that make them ineligible for CMV driving. 

Drivers will also need to be properly registered for the clearinghouse, so communicate with your current employees about the rule, and ensure they’re registered (if required).

Finally, being that employers will now need to check the clearinghouse before hiring new CMV drivers, it makes sense to begin to put systems in place which will help you effectively do that. 

The FMCSA is, at its core, meant to keep drivers and roadways safe. But in order for it to work properly, employers and drivers need to be educated on the rule. Tools such as the clearinghouse navigator should go a long way towards doing that.